password hardening

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: How to prepare for the emerging threats to your systems and data

Password hardening is any one of a variety of measures taken to make it more difficult for an intruder to circumvent the authentication process. Password hardening may take the form of multifactor authentication, by adding some component to the username/password combination, or may be policy-based.

Here are a few variations on password hardening:

  • Biopasswords utilizes Flash plug-ins to measure keystroke dynamics, such as a user's typing speed and how long the keys are held down. This procedure generates a distinctive biometric value that is very difficult to counterfeit.
  • A company called Bharosa (since acquired by Oracle) developed a method of password hardening that presents the user with a new image of a scrambled keyboard for each login. The user clicks password characters with the mouse. This method protects users against malicious keyloggers.
  • Policy-based password hardening typically involves practices such as enforcing strong passwords and requiring users to change their passwords frequently.

Password hardening is often said to be one of the most neglected -- and most important -- components of securing the enterprise.

This was last updated in June 2008

Continue Reading About password hardening



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats






  • CIO Trends #6: Nordics

    In this e-guide, read how the High North and Baltic Sea collaboration is about to undergo a serious and redefining makeover to ...

  • CIO Trends #6: Middle East

    In this e-guide we look at the role of information technology as the Arabian Gulf commits billions of dollars to building more ...

  • CIO Trends #6: Benelux

    In this e-guide, read about the Netherlands' coalition government's four year plan which includes the term 'cyber' no fewer than ...